Tag Archives: ve schwab

A Gathering Of Shadows: A Review

A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab
My rating: 4.5 of 5 star

This review is going to be short because it is the second book of the series, and I don’t want to spoil anything if you decide to pick it up.

The book focuses on a lot of character growth, particularly with Delilah Bard. There is a pirate storyline in this book, which was really fun. Plus, the tournament in this book is used to pull all the characters together, explaining how they are all growing as characters and relating to each other. There is also a lot of processing through the outcome of the last book, and it’s used beautifully in this book as a bridge to the final book.

There are also a few more characters introduced in this storyline, Alucard takes a fairly large role in the book, though only the original three main characters – Lila, Kell, and Rhy – have the story told from their point of view. Still, the author does a beautiful job of seamlessly introducing these characters without too much of an information dump.

It is a fun second book, but was slow in some parts, mainly because I wanted to get back to plot lines I preferred, but all of the book makes an impact by the end. All the seemingly small pieces of information become big plot points by the end. I loved the ride and look forward to the last book in this series.

There is not a strong amount of profanity, but it is present. There are a few kissing scenes in the book, but nothing too graphic or steamy. There is a lot of violence. The tournament involves attacking each other with magic, but there is also murder and death and physical harm throughout the story. Nothing too descriptive, though.

A Darker Shade of Magic: A Review

A Darker Shade of Magic by Victoria Schwab
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

To be fair, this is my favorite author.  I have yet to find a book she wrote that I didn’t just completely love.  I actually heard about her when the third book in this trilogy was coming out, but the library (the place I go to check out new authors) didn’t have this trilogy.  So, I read The Archived and loved it.  And now I’m finally getting a chance to read this series.

I totally get the hype.

The story is set in London, well four Londons, each in a different world.  They used to be connected by doors that anyone could go through for a visit.  Magic was liberally shared between the worlds.  But now, the doors have been sealed, and only a special type of people, the Antari, are able to move between them.

Kell is an Antari.  He can’t remember his childhood, and all he knows is the family that he belongs to, the royal family of the Red London.  Red London still has a good balance of magic.  Grey London has no magic (and is our world set in a time that still depended on horse carriages), White London consumes magic, and Black London was consumed by magic (hence the sealing of all the doors in an effort to get it all under control).

Kell has a bad habit of smuggling things to each of the different worlds, and one of these items is found to be extremely dangerous.  Lila Bard, a gray-worlder, is a thief who pickpockets Kell and finds herself a part of the adventure to get this item to a safe place.  But there are others who would use this item for worlds domination, hence the plot thickens.

By the end of the book, I was heavily invested in these characters.  The plot was fast-moving and the adventure was fun.  It definitely left it open for the next book in the series, but I just love Schwab’s characters.  They are beautiful and flawed.  They don’t make perfect choices, but they have a deep set of values that help them navigate when it counts the most.

It does have profanity throughout the book.  There is one brief sex scene, but it isn’t detailed.  There is a lot of violence (one of the major qualities of White London), so expect torture and murder, conversations about murder, and a small trigger warning for cutting.

Like everything else I have read from this author, I really enjoyed the beginning of this series.  I am looking forward to reading the next one soon!

My 5 Star Summer Reads

I read about 18 books this summer. I didn’t want to put all of the reviews on my blog because that would be a bit of an overkill. Plus, I have a September TBR list that will surely take up the normal review spots on my blog. But! I did read a few amazing books that I will mention today.

Elantris by Brandon Sanderson. It seems like if you spend any time among fantasy book readers, you will hear about this author. I have wanted to read his books, but they are all thick and intimidating. And I didn’t know where to begin. So I began at the beginning. Since, apparently, all of his books are written in the same world, I figured I would begin with the first book he wrote. It was amazing. The characters were great. The world building was great. The plot flowed. Just amazing. I can see why so many love it. And apparently, this isn’t his strongest work, so that just excites me more. (For those of you wondering: No profanity, a little sexual content, a good bit of violence)

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I don’t know if I was a closet introvert or my extroversion is something that disappeared, but I have begun to realize through this book and other conversations that I am a full blown introverted adult. And this book was so helpful in exploring all of the facets of being an introvert. I would recommend it to anyone – other introverts, people who don’t know what they are, and extroverts who are simply trying to understand the other end of the spectrum.

The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab. I’m going to be completely upfront and say that this is one of my top favorite authors. This was the first book she published that shockingly didn’t do well the first go round, so since she has been uber-successful since then, they re-published it. It’s about a town who has a legend about a witch that lived in their town. All the kids loved her until one of them showed up dead in her garden. That’s when she was killed. A new stranger has come to town, and children have mysteriously been disappearing. Is it the witch come back to haunt them or is it the stranger in their midst? Great story, reads like a fairy tale. (Profanity – not significant amounts, Sexual Content – only kissing, and Violent Content – one character gets shot, and other gets punched)

What to Say Next by Julie Buxbaum. This is one of the last reads of this summer. Story of David and Kit. David is on the spectrum, and Kit lost her dad in a car accident. It cover grief, autism, love, loss, relationships, and accepting others despite their flaws. It’s absolutely beautiful and I cried. (There is profanity, sexual content, and violent content, but it’s all fairly mild. Most of the sexual content entails some logical observations from David (that he can picture what people look like naked without having to remove their clothes, things that are inappropriate usually, but this is David processing things in his head). There is also some kissing and one of the characters cheats on another character which is processed throughout the book. The violent content involves one school fight (which is kind of awesome but I don’t want to give anything away) and of course, the car accident which has given Kit nightmares.)

I’m pretty happy with the amount of five star reads that I had this summer. I also like how varied they are (one’s a nonfiction, another a fantasy, one is more paranormal, and one is a contemporary). There are YAs and Adult fiction on the list which surprised me because I thought I would forever be magnetized to the YA section, but I’m slowly broadening my tastes and loving it.

So now that I’ve shared mine, what books have you loved this summer? Or if it’s been a slow summer or disappointing one, what was the last great book or movie that you consumed?

The Archived: A Review

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The Archived by Victoria Schwab

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was my first V.E. Schwab book, and I really enjoyed her writing. This particular story is about a girl named Mackenzie who inherits this job from her grandfather as a Keeper. Apparently, when someone dies, a record of them is created in the Archive in the form of a body that looks like what they did before they died. Sometimes these records, or Histories, “wake up” and get lost in the space between the Archive and the Outer (the real world) called the Narrows. So, it’s up to the Keepers to get them back to the Archive. But something is going wrong and a lot of the Histories are mysteriously waking up. So, it’s up to Mackenzie to figure out what’s going on before it’s too late.
There are a few triggers. Of course, the story is about people dying, and it opens with Mac’s family moving into a renovated hotel to an apartment complex after her brother dies. It also addresses grief and loss.
The plot is fast moving, and the world is built pretty well. There were definite twists and reveals that I enjoyed. I wasn’t ever sure just where the author would take the story. The chapters are short and the writing enabled it to keep a fast pace.
I really enjoyed Mac’s transformation throughout the book. She goes from an isolated loner to learning how to trust herself and others. Also, her grief transformation is good as well.
There wasn’t any profanity, which was a nice change from the other recent YA novels that I’ve read. I’m not sure if this is normal for her, but it was nice to see.
There are violent components, mentions of blood and several fight scenes in the book since the Histories don’t always go back to the Archive willingly.
There is romance in the book, but it’s mostly kissing. There is a scene with touching, but touch is a theme in the book. Keepers can see the thoughts and memories of a person they touch unless it is a History which gives off nothing but silence.
I’ve already picked up the second book in this series, and I’m excited to get back into the world. I highly recommend this book.